It’s a This Week in Venture Capital first, as Mark hears a company pitch from the co-founders of Smarketplaces, Sonia Sahney Nagar and Ryan Weber.
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00:17 INTRO: We decided to try something new for the first time ever, we have Ryan and Sonya of Smarketplaces who are going to be pitching me!
1:50 Have you raised money, or are you bootsrapping right now?
2:10 So we’re going to go through the business in a moment, but let’s give people the headlines. What does Smarketplaces do?
3:10 Some of the biggest trends on the internet: content mixed with commerce.
3:30 Intro to Ryan.
4:50 Ryan, what attracted you to consulting?
6:40 Sonya, what’s your background?
7:30 When did you go to Harvard Business School? Is there an entrepreneurial background there?
8:47 How did you guys meet?
10:08 Let me throw out a concern I have about programs like Founderlabs and Startup Weekend. The problem I have is that you get thrown in with a bunch of people you don’t know, it’s actually the winners I worry about. My fear is for a weekend, everybody seems great and you’re all excited to work together. But you take all the positive kudos, and you commit 5 to 8 years of your life to it, and maybe it’s not as good as you thought?
13:28 You should assign your IP to the group that works together. Be selective about the people you work with.
17:42 MozyPro Ad Read
20:09 Let’s go into Smarketplaces!
20:25 Sonya details Smarketplaces business model
22:30 You’re focused on mom-blogs, is that your first target? Why does a mom-blog want to take your widget?
23:30 Mark analyzes Smarketplaces’ pitch
25:20 Your number one thing that you should care about is revenue. How do we increase your revenue?
28:10 Is Smarketplaces more of an Ebay or an Etsy?
31:38 Mark on the value of a Blog Network.
33:20 How do you handle customer service?
33:40 Assistly Ad Read
34:50 How can you guarantee that your inventory will be available if it’s listed in multiple places?
35:38 Do you do a revshare? Do you disclose this amount?
36:02 How do you imagine differentiating yourself?
37:00 Do you imagine cooking your users, so you know more about them when they come?
38:00 If you can do something with your data, and find some way to do innovative with it, you will be adding incremental value.
38:30 What is your biggest technical challenge that you’re trying to work through?
38:58 How big do you think the market is?
42:30 How do you think about fundraising these days?
44:10 When do you go out? Early vs. developed
44:56 I would encourage you to meet early, and meet as many people as you can.
46:02 Mark’s advice on getting a business off the ground: Make a ‘business pie chart’ so you can allocate your time more appropriately.
49:00 Mark’s feedback on Smarketplaces: monetizing a media company!
50:51 Fenwick & West Ad
Duration : 0:53:26